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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Canning, Preserving and Dehydrating / Dehydrated beef jerky safety
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    Dehydrated beef jerky safety

    Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:24 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I've searched but didn't find exactly what I have to say. I also wonder if it would be appropriate to post in the recipe area for those making jerky?
    So here goes.
    I've noticed a lot of recipes where no salt cure is being used. While soy sauce and other liquids may have a high salt content, be careful, the amount may not be enough to "cure" the meat to a safe level to leave out, it should be refrigerated immediately for safety.
    Also some have posted about using brisket to make jerky. Any cut of meat can be used but again the more fat in the meat the more likely it is to go rancid without refrigeration.
    Homemade jerky can be one of the most wonderful items you can make at home to save money and make it just the way you like. But unless you know about curing meat and using a low fat meat, PLEASE refrigerate it for safety sakes.
    Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:46 pm
    Forum Host
    Thanks, Pete! Welcome to the forum. icon_smile.gif

    This is what the NCHFP (National Center for Home Food Preservation) has to say:
    "Raw meats can be contaminated with microorganisms that cause disease. These harmful bacteria can easily multiply on moist, high protein foods like meat and poultry and can cause illness if the products are not handled correctly. If pork or wild game is used to make jerky, the meat should be treated to kill the trichinella parasite before it is sliced and marinated. This parasite causes the disease trichinosis. To treat the meat, freeze a portion that is 6 inches or less thick at 0ºF or below for at least 30 days. Freezing will not eliminate bacteria from the meat.

    Follow these recommendations for safe handling of meat and poultry:
    •Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meats.
    •Use clean equipment and utensils.
    •Keep meat and poultry refrigerated at 40ºF or below. Use ground beef and poultry within 2 days, red meats within 3 to 5 days or freeze for later use.
    •Thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator, not on the kitchen counter.
    •Marinate meat in the refrigerator. Do not save and re-use marinade.

    When preparing jerky from wild game, it is important to remember that the wound location and skill of the hunter can affect the safety of the meat. If the animal is wounded in such a way that the contents of its gut come in contact with the meat or the hunter’s hands while dressing the meat, fecal bacteria can contaminate the meat. It is best to avoid making jerky from this meat and use it only in ways that it will be thoroughly cooked. Deer carcasses should be rapidly chilled to avoid bacterial growth. The risk of foodborne illness from home-dried jerky can be decreased by allowing the internal temperature of the meat to reach 160ºF, but in such a way as to prevent case hardening. Two methods can be used: heating meat strips in marinade before drying or heating the dried jerky strips in an oven after the drying process is completed. Directions for both methods are below. When the strips are heated in a marinade before drying, drying times will be reduced. Color and texture will differ from traditional jerky."
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